24 July 2011

Terrorist Attacks

In light of the recent terrorist attacks yesterday in Norway, it's got me thinking about terrorism, and what the UN can (or rather, can not) do about it.

We can see an example of what can be done in the Nuremburg Trials, where the Nazi's were tried and convicted for war crimes that were committed during the Holocaust. The jurisdiction fell to the Allied Powers (Great Britain, The Soviet Union, and the United States), as a direct result of the Declaration Regarding the Defeat of Germany and the Assumption of Supreme Authority by Allied Powers (a mouthful, I know). Although it's disputed whether this assumption of power constituted debellation, it allowed the Allied Powers the authority and means to rebuild the German State, and to hold an International Military Tribunal (as the crimes were committed by military personnel).

So, if terrorism is committed by military personnel, or a civilian working directly through the military (such as a weapons contractor or other military security force), there is jurisdiction to hold a military tribunal, by the victorious party. 

So what happens in cases like the September 11th attacks on the United States? Or the London Train Bombings, the Al Qaeda suicide bombings in Israel, the Moscow Train Bombings, or the Madrid Train Bombings? Many people think that you can just find whomever is responsible and put them on trial. Or that they can simply go to war with them, and feel justified. This is not so.  

First of all, you cannot just "go to war" with a country, and expect it be legal. The UN Security Council has in one of their charters, that you have to declare war through your respective country's government. For the United States, it would be Congress. This is the line of red tape that we ignored when we decided to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. President Bush had presidential authority to send troops without declaring war through Congress, but only for a 90 day period. Any amount of time beyond that, is subject to a Congressional vote.

There are miles of red tape surrounding this issue. Another important question to ask is this: Are terror attacks classified as civil crimes, or war crimes? Any terror attack can be viewed as an act of war, such as the terror attacks of September 11th, and they can also be viewed as a civilian matter, such as the Colombine shootings, or the the Oklahoma City bombing. Here is where you fall into another roll of red tape. 

Yet another roll can come in the form of National Boundaries. We can't just sue Canada if they decide to invade us during peace time... there's no law against that. And even if there was, I don't believe that we would sue... I believe "aggressive negotiations" would be in taken, and I firmly believe that the aggressive negotiations would result in the total annihilation of Canada... but that's just me. 

If "less than aggressive" negotiations are taken, they would be within the jurisdiction of the UN Security Council. After all... the first and second Charter Mandates require the UN : "To maintain international peace and security.... (and if necessary to enforce the peace) by taking preventive or enforcement action". But yet, the permanent members of the Security Council, due to its restricted administrative structure, have sometimes prevented the UN from fully carrying out its mandates. Which, in my soon to be professional opinion, is quite hypocritical. 

Now that I have gotten all that political garbage out of my system, I do want to express my sadness of the events, and my condolences to the families of the victims. Its a shame that anyone should ever have to die in such a way. 

23 July 2011

School's Starting!!

Well... here we go again! School is starting up again, and its back to the books. YAY! Its my first semester at the University if Utah this fall, and I'm super excited! My schedule for the semester is as follows...

Intro to Law and Politics (POLS 3200)
European Politics (POLS 3410)
Intro to Comparative Politics (POLS 2200)
Political Parties (POLS 3120)

This is going to be an intense semester... but an awesome one nonetheless! Super excited!!

In other news, I had an interview with Sports Authority the other day as a skiing sales associate! Hope I get it, because that means that I'll be able to get my ski bum on a few months early :D Which means that winter is essentially starting in August :D And that makes me super happy!

Also... I'm moving in with Tessie and Andy. That'll be fun. We'll see how Christine reacts to it... see if she hates me even more for it. Who knows. I'm to the point where I want to ask her if she has any interest in being my friend... but that'd be just bitchy of me, and I don't want to be the bitchy friend. So who knows. But this could be fun. Because we spend a whole lot of time together anyway, and it'll save us a ton of gas :) But yeah. Thats what's going on in the life of Ellen. Not to mention that I'm going on a date tonight!

16 July 2011

Do you ever have days where you just don't feel like you are worth your price tag? Today has been one of those days. When I was in institute Wednesday, Brother Cope had this quote up on the board. 

We may, indeed, be sure that perfect chastity—like perfect charity—will not be attained by any merely human efforts. You must ask for God’s help. Even when you have done so, it may seem to you for a long time that no help, or less help than you need, is being given. Never mind. After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again. For however important chastity (or courage, or truthfulness, or any other virtue) may be, this process trains us in habits of the soul which are more important still. It cures our illusions about ourselves and teaches us to depend on God. We learn, on the one hand, that we cannot trust ourselves even in our best moments, and, on the other, that we need not despair even in our worst, for our failures are forgiven. The only fatal thing is to sit down content with anything less than perfection. -C.S. Lewis

This is definitely something I needed to hear... because I knew that the Atonement is there for me, but hearing it... that makes all the difference. I knew that Heavenly Father will always hear my prayers, and will always help me, but hearing it was all the difference. 

I've made a ton of mistakes in my life... so many that its not even funny. I've made so many mistakes, that my family doesn't speak to me. They have completely cut me out of their lives, and its 100% my fault. They had a hand in just about everything that happened, but they didn't make the decisions. I did. But I'm a good person. I'm a good person, and I try to prove that every day of my life. I hope one day my parents will see how the Church has made me a better person... I hope on day I can prove it to them.

Through Him... everything is possible.
Someday, I'll find my Prince Charming, and he will take me to the temple.

14 July 2011

Life in perspective

I went and volunteered at Primary Children's Hospital today. After my Institute class at the U, a few of the Phi girls were going over, and invited me to join them. So we practiced some Primary Songs, and some Brighton Girls Camp songs, and then we headed over there. We went and met 11 year old, Kaliee and her mom and dad, and we played the songs. 

Afterward, we heard about what had happened. Kaliee was swinging on a hammock, which was suspended from hollow, brick pillars. The pillars collapsed, and the bricks came down on Kaliee's head, giving her a traumatic injury to her brain, which left her paralyzed from the neck down. She was an athlete, played the piano... and all that has been taken from her. She has a really hard time speaking... she can form the words in a whisper, but she can't get the sound out yet. Everything has been taken from her, and her life hasn't really even started yet. But the amazing thing is... she was so positive. She is sad that she can't play sports, or the piano anymore... but she loves to sing, and she's focusing on that. And it made me realize... yes, I have a torn ACL. Yes, wearing that brace sucks. But I complain about it constantly. How I can't play softball for a season. How I can't go up and down stairs like normal. How I can't get in and out of a car like normal. How the brace is uncomfortable, how I'm missing ski season... She's never going to recover from this. She is paralyzed for the rest of her life. And I'm in recovery for the next 6-12 months. She's not complaining. And that's all I've been able to do for the last 2 days. 

She put my life into perspective real quick. Life is so short... too short for her. She deserves better, and I'm going to keep going to see her. She's amazing.

And on another happy note, I have been made an honorary member of the Phi Chapter of Lambda Delta Sigma. pretty awesome if you ask me :) It pretty much made my whole day. Because I was going to rush with them this fall, but because they closed the organization, I won't be able to. So Michelle, the closing president, has made me an honorary member. And its awesome. :) I belong to something. 

13 July 2011

And The Results Are In....

Well I went to the doctor yesterday. And the verdict is in... I have a torn ACL and a severe MCL sprain. This is what the inside of your knee looks like... :D

Now the part in the blue is your ACL ligament, and the one in green that you can barely see is your MCL ligament. They are 2 of the 4 major ligaments that hold your knee together. And these ligaments, the ACL in particular, is what gives your knee stability... it allows me to make quick cuts, and turns, and everything while playing sports. After tearing it though, I can feel everything being very unstable... its almost like I can feel it wanting to buckle out from under me. Which is bad...

So I went to the doctor yesterday. They took a CT scan, but it wasn't clear enough to see exactly what was going on in there, so they took an MRI scan. The MRI confirmed that I tore the ACL, but they still aren't sure if it needs surgery, so they put me in this big huge brace (see picture below) and are waiting to see if it starts healing on its own, and if it does, I won't be needing any surgery. Which would pretty much be the greatest thing in the entire world. But while I was there, the doc told me that if I would have rotated any farther when I did this, I would have torn the MCL too. Which is kinda nuts. But the recovery time is anywhere from 3-12 months... it all depends on how well I stick to the rehab, and to everything the doc tells me. Which means I'm gonna need Tess's help so I don't cheat. Because in the last 36 hours, I've done alot of cheating. And thats no good. Because I know I'm done with softball for the summer, and fall. But I could possibly be ready for ski season, if I'm ready to go by 6 months... by 6 months, it'll be January/February, and that'll leave the last half of the season. I am hoping that I can make that deadline... because in the winter, all I do is go to school, go to work, and ski. I rock the ski bum look!!!

But anyways... this is what I'm going to be stuck with for the next couple of months, and then a lot of PT, and everything else... 
But, I'm making ski season this year baby! Ski season 2011-2012! YEAH!!!

08 July 2011

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Two years ago, I was afraid of wanting anything. I was afraid of wanting to be loved, and I figured wanting would lead to trying, and trying would lead to failure. But now I find I can’t stop wanting… I want to fly somewhere in first class. I want to travel to Europe on a business trip. I want to get invited to the White House. I want to learn about the world. I want to surprise myself. I want to be important. I want to be the best person I can be. I want to define myself, instead having of others define me. I want to win; and have people be happy for me. I want to lose and get over it. I want to not be afraid of the unknown. I want to grow up to be generous and big hearted. The way that people have been with me. I want an interesting and surprising life.

It’s not that I think I am going to get all these things. I just want the possibility of getting them. The possibility that things are going to change. I want to be the change I want to see in the world. I want to change the world. I want to make a difference. 

07 July 2011

Well, there goes the rest of my summer. And fall. And Winter...

We had a softball game Tuesday. Exciting stuff. Til I got up to my first at bat, and tore my ACL. I had a couple of flexibility tests done on it that night, and I need to get a CT/MRI to confirm it, but we're pretty certain that it's torn, or at the very least, a severe strain. So I'm on crutches til Monday at the very very earliest. And then 6 months of recovery, if I don't have to have any surgery, and up to a year if I do. So softball is over. Skiing is most likely over. :( Everything that makes me, me, is done. At least for the next 6-12 months...

I'm afraid of relationships... relationships of any kind... friends, family, boys... anything. Because everyone has let me down... especially family. Everyone I had ever cared about, and stuck my neck out for, has left without a look back. Missy was the biggest one. I cared like crazy. And she knew everything about me... and then out of the blue, she was done with me. Done. Over. The same thing is happening with Christine right now. And I'm afraid that its going to happen to Tessie. Because she told me the other day that I'm her best friend. And every best friend I have ever had, has cut me off for bigger and better people. I really like Tess... she's a really great person, and she treats me like a person that's worth something. I just can't be let down by one more person...

I feel like the giving tree...

The tree loves that boy so much. Whatever the boy wanted, the tree gave it. And the boy takes, and takes, and takes until all that's left is a stump. And thats how I feel... I love people so much... especially Missy... that I give and give and give, until I'm just a stump. And I just keep giving... and keep getting left behind.

04 July 2011

I have the greatest friend in the world...

My friend Tess is officially the greatest person in the entire world. Here is why.

She was having a bad day, and apparently, I made it better. By giving her a cold Dr. Pepper, a Pie breadstick, and listening to her talk. But she really had an impact on me, she talked me through a lot of things, and when she left, I didn't really feel any better, but I did know I had a friend on my side. A few hours later I missed a call from her. And when I heard her voicemail... not gonna lie, it made me cry a little bit. She made me feel worth it... like I'm worth something to the world. I feel like I've got a really great friend on my hands here... :D

I play fast pitch softball on Tuesdays. I absolutely LOVE to play softball... It's  pretty much the love of my life. :D But seriously... Its been the greatest outlet of negative energy this summer. We have our games on Tuesdays, and then we will have practices on Mondays and Thursdays. Almost no one comes to the practices, but its fine with me, because I get some really good fielding practice. Already, I have seen a HUGE difference in my fielding because of the high amount of balls, and one-on-one practice I have gotten. When I was in high school, I was mainly a catcher, but I've getting more reps at 3rd, because Tessie is our catcher. I LOVE playing 3rd. I fit really well there. Because I was a catcher, I have a great arm, and quick reflexes... so I am quick enough to scoop up a slapped ground ball, and have the strength to throw the ball across the field to Keni at 1st. Our team isn't exactly what you'd call a championship contender, but we have fun with it, and that's all that matters. Our success has also been ham-stringed by the fact that our team, made up of girls up to 7 years out of high school, is playing against high school teams, that have been playing together on that level all spring. But it's fun, and that's all that matters to me. We're thinking about getting a slow pitch team together for the fall... I hope we do!!

So even though I didn't have the greatest day today... Tessie, made it better, and showed me that I'm worth it, and that I'm worth loving, and caring about. And that makes me smile!

02 July 2011

Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks.

I've been having some fun tonight, because I'm just out of my zone. I'm just out of everything. I'm drained all outta happy. So here is some happy that I found along the way.

This picture makes my whole life... because it's totally me. I'm a big time skier. I'm in love with my moped. And it's old school. And I'm lovin' it. Someday I'll get my picture taken like this. And maybe someday I'll be as legit as she is!

This is something a friend put together for me a while ago. This is definitely me too. The actual picture isn't me, its Ellen Page, but it kinda looks like me, and it has my favorite colors in it. But its me, surrounded by my first love. Music. I play the piano... and I love it! I play the music, I write the music... I love the music. And she found all black and white pictures to surround the only one in color, me.

And then this is one that I made for me. It's my name, and then another picture of Ellen Page... and the quote from Juno, "I don't really know what kind of girl I am." That quote sums me up pretty darn well... Just makes me smile. :)

And here's a few happy things I saw today, and wrote down.

  • "Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself."
  • The world is changing at such a rapid rate that waiting to implement changes will leave you 2 steps behind."
  • Friend's are more important than money."
  • "The pursuit of happiness is the source of all unhappiness."
  • "Do one thing a day that scares you."
  • Drink fresh water and as much water as you can. Water flushes unwanted toxins from your body and keeps your brain sharp."
  • "Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself."
  • "Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life."
  • "Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to."
  • "That which matters the most should never give way to that which matter the least."
  • "Stress is related to 99% of all illness."
  • "Dance, sing, floss, and travel."
  • "The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time. Choose a positive one."
  • "A daily hit of athletic-induced endorphins gives you the power to make better decisions, helps you be at peace with yourself, and offset stress."
  • "Creativity is maximized when you're living in the moment."
  • "Nature wants us to be mediocre because we have a greater chance to survive and reproduce. Mediocrity is as close to the bottom as it is to the top, and will give you a lousy life."
  • "Visualize your eventual demise. It can have an amazing effect on how you live for the moment."
Just thought I would share those... because I like them a lot, and I think some other awesome people might like it too :)